Outstanding Contributions in Arts, Culture and Heritage to be Honored at 15th Annual Bravo Gala

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Bravo Greater Des Moines will recognize Don and Margo Blumenthal , the After School Arts Program and City Voices during the 15th Annual Bravo Awards Gala held Saturday, Feb. 1 at Hy-Vee Hall. Dan Keough, Chairman and CEO of Holmes Murphy, and Mike McCoy, CEO of NCMIC Group, will serve as Gala Co-Hosts and will welcome more than 1,500 guests to the annual event.

Don and Margo Blumenthal will receive the Bravo Award, given annually to an individual, family or foundation whose contributions to the arts have benefited Greater Des Moines. Through creative problem solving and generous support, the Blumenthal’s have helped to strengthen the region’s arts and culture landscape.  Both Don and Margo have been involved with the Blank Park Zoo for 30 years serving on the board, fundraising and generously contributing to the growth of the zoo. They most recently donated to the Blumenthal Giraffe building and the new ZooPlex Event Center opening this Spring.  When the Civic Center opened in 1979, Margo coordinated a Junior League gala ball to honor the occasion. She has also worked with the Des Moines Symphony, worked on the Art Center gala honoring Mike Blank and was instrumental in creating the Salisbury House’s annual Great Gatsby Gala.  Beyond arts and culture, the Blumenthal’s have also been heavily involved with non-profits that support children and animal care and nurturing.

New for 2020, two Spotlight Awards will be given to shine a light on inspiring work happening because of Bravo’s investments in arts, culture and heritage organizations.  The After School Arts Program (ASAP) and City Voices will both receive Spotlight Awards this year.

The After School Arts Program (ASAP) strengthens the cultural landscape by meaningfully connecting a great diversity of people with and through the arts. ASAP provides free, high-quality studio arts classes for underserved children (K-8).   ASAP intentionally orchestrates unexpected connections to help strengthen the community and was recognized by the Iowa Arts Council with the Governor’s Arts Award for Impact and Accessibility in the Arts. ASAP serves approximately 2500 student enrollments annually.  

City Voices was founded on the premise that the study of music makes a positive difference in the lives of young people in ways that can help them socially, emotionally and academically.  Unfortunately, these skills often come with a large price tag and are not always accessible to all students.  To bridge this gap, City Voices’ mission is to improve access by providing free voice lessons and intensive music education instruction for students who may not have the resources to study privately.   City Voices believes that when students have the tools, they will gain access, have more opportunities and participate more fully in musical offerings around them.  Since being founded in 2013, City Voices has served over 175 students from 18 different area schools and have employed 25 teaching artists. City Voices is the only organization in the state that provides these services completely free to students.

The Bravo Awards Gala is sold out for 2020 but tickets for the 2021 event on February 6, 2021 may be requested by emailing Gala@bravogreaterdesmoines.org.